Clearwater Asst. Fire Chief accused of theft

Posted at 1:18 PM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 00:17:09-05

The Clearwater Assistant Fire & Rescue Chief has been charged with stealing an energy drink from a local store. 

According to police, Ron Gemsheim snagged a 5-Hour Energy drink on his way out of the 7-Eleven store on Court Street without paying.

The 2-ounce bottle he's accused of trying to steal is worth around $3.29 before tax. 

Gemsheim told police the theft was an accident.

An employee confronted Gemsheim in the parking lot about the theft.  He returned the bottle to the store.

The employee stated Gemsheim was a regular customer and that fountain drinks are free to "first responders and service members."

Gemsheim is a 10-year department veteran, who recently was awarded the Clearwater Rotary Club's 2016 Public Safety and Service Award, per the Times.

He faces one count of misdemeanor retail theft.